After a delay of 2 years due to the covid pandemic, the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO), finally had its bi-annual conference in Luxembourg this month. It was well attended by Women’s Club members from across the globe including our own FAWCO Representative Michelle Vanderstraaten, as well as AWCB Board members Lorraine De Bock, Ariadna Martinez, and Jennifer Constantino. This was an incredible opportunity to learn more of what FAWCO offers. The group gained inspiration and had an invaluable chance to exchange ideas and share resources along with making useful connections.
Our members learned more about the FAWCO Target Projects, including that focused on eliminating FGM. We had the privilege of hearing a speech by Rhobi Samwelly, FGM survivor and director of Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania, and learned about what FAWCO is doing and how its efforts have made an impact on ending FGM worldwide. For more information see the website.
Your membership to the AWCB automatically makes you a member of FAWCO. But what does this mean to you and to our club? FAWCO is our umbrella organization that connects us not only to other Women’s Clubs but also to the work FAWCO does at the American and international levels. FAWCO is a United Nations accredited NGO with special status to consult on the UN’s Economic and Social Council. Its focus is on issues concerning women and children in the areas of education, environment, health and human rights. FAWCO, the AWCB, and our sister clubs around the world all share a passion for improving the world in which we live now and for future generations. To learn more about the action being taken behind all the encouraging words, go to the How We Work page.
At the Luxembourg conference, AWCB members learned about FAWCO initiatives and how our club can be involved. One example is The Welcoming Project, which works to increase inclusiveness for all. In addition to the FAWCO Education Awards, the FAWCO youth program encourages expat children to gain cultural understanding and raise awareness of global issues. This is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to learn more about the UN and get involved.
Another project is The Cultural Volunteer Program, which is looking for clubs to host teens to experience 3-5 cultural and volunteering events over a set number of days. If you would like to get involved in making this a reality for the AWCB, please contact Michelle or Heather Bloemperk, your AWCB FAWCO representatives, to find out more (Michelle@awcb.org or Heather@awcb.org).
Another initiative is The Clubs in Motion project encouraging members to stay physically fit. Find out more about this worthwhile and fun project. We are looking for someone to oversea the AWCB’s contribution so if you are interested, again, get in touch with Heather or Michelle.
AWCB members won silent and live auctions contributing over 1.600 euros to FAWCO!
The AWCB gains a great deal of encouragement, expertise and guidance from the FAWCO global community and supports us in ways that would be much less effective on our own. The 2022 Luxembourg Conference inspired a sense of belonging to something much wider than our own women’s club and you are encouraged, during your global travels, to seek out other FAWCO member clubs to learn from and share in our global experience.
And finally, another important and valuable part of FAWCO is FAUSA, the arm of FAWCO that supports FAWCO members repatriating back to the USA and Canada. Repatriation is never a simple transition, especially after many years living in an international environment. FAUSA offers support and friendship during this time and allows our members to maintain the friendships they’ve made through their clubs and FAWCO and stay connected to their international life. For more information go to the FAUSA website.
To view all the images go to the AWCB Facebook Group